Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vampire Academy RULES.


I began my trek into the Young Adult genre like so many other moms; first reading the Twilight series. I fell in love with the paranormal genre and the world building in young adult novels. So what was I to do when I finished with that series? I went on a hunt for more. After a recommendation from friends, I dug into the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.  It took just one book and I was hooked.
Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6)Richelle Mead creates one of the most fascinating worlds I have come across. Her vampire world is complicated and intriguing, setting the stage for a gripping plot with multi-dimensional characters. Lissa is a Moroi princess, a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. Moroi, including Lissa, must be protected at all times from Strigoi which are the dangerous, immortal vampires. Protection comes in the form of Dhampirs who have a blend of human and vampire blood. Rose, Lissa's best friend, has committed herself to a life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and return to St. Vladimir's Academy where it is still not safe for the Moroi. (Herein lays the drama and suspense.) Rose is allowed to resume her Dhampir education under the supervision of Dmitri. A romance blooms slowly between Rose and Dmitri, one fraught with danger and disaster as they live their lives as protectors of the Moroi and undergo an uprising. Rose is a charming character with her in-your-face attitude and strong determination. As a mom, I enjoyed seeing Rose grow throughout the series.
Lissa completes her Moroi education while also resuming her place in the elite social sphere. While separated for much of their education, the girls share a unique bond. Mead uses this connection to literally take the reader into Lissa’s mind and give descriptions of scenes Rose took no part in which otherwise would’ve been impossible since it is written entirely from Rose’s POV.
My favorite part of the series is that nothing is predictable. Storylines, relationships and locations are in constant change. Each book is unique, making everything exciting all over again, without detracting from the main themes and the primary characters – Rose and Lissa.
Mead gives the reader everything you come to expect in a YA series and then some; romance, adventure, mystery and suspense. The Vampire Academy series is darker, more dangerous, than other YA paranormal books I’ve read. But it still covers the necessary YA themes from high school - cliques, boyfriends, reputations, drinking and sex. Amongst all the world building is a well-written story about the bonds of friendship and staying faithful to yourself while fulfilling your destiny.
I give this series 5 chocolate dipped strawberries. I can’t wait for the final book coming in December. Quick! If you haven’t read the series yet, read fast to be ready for the final installment.
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